Malawi to debate public farting ban

2011-02-04 14:22

Blantyre - Malawian lawmakers will next week debate a law change to criminalise public farting, which a cabinet minister said had been encouraged by democracy.

"The government has a right to ensure public decency. We are entitled to introduce order in the country," justice and constitutional affairs minister George Chaponda told independent radio station Capital Radio.

"Would you like to see people farting in public anywhere?"

Since the country embraced multi-party politics 16 years ago people had felt free to fart anywhere, said Chaponda.

"It was not there during the time of dictatorship because people were afraid of the consequences. Now because of multipartism or freedom, people would like to fart anywhere, he said.

Chaponda, a key figure in President Bingu wa Mutharika's government, said that if Malawians cannot control their farting "they should go to the toilet instead of farting in public".

"Nature can be controlled... it becomes a nuisance if people fart anywhere."

Old law

A lawyer himself, Chaponda said that under the amended law farting will be considered a minor offence.

Chaponda's Democratic Progressive Party will bank on its majority to pass the amendment to a law which was first introduced in 1929.

The amendment, which will make farting in public an offence, is not yet public and it will be presented to parliament for debate as part of a review by the state-sponsored Law Commission of the country's penal code.

Nobody in Malawi has been arrested nor convicted for farting under the old law, as police did not enforce it.

The old law states: "Any person who voluntarily vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour."

The southern African state is a conservative society with punishable previous bans on long hair for men and trouser-wearing for women.

  • Mikemcc - 2011-02-04 14:36


  • E.Nuff - 2011-02-04 14:36

    Just more hot air from politicians and lawmakers. Surely one of the poorest countries in the world has more serious issues, poverty, housing, health, education...?

      Stan - 2011-02-04 15:59

      I agree with you 100%. Such a poor country like Malawi should not spend taxi payer's money sitting in parliament to discuss, and while at the same time farting on their chairs. The next day they are going to enact a law criminalising breathing in public or coughing as that may spread diseases. Welcome to Malawi!

  • noxcleva - 2011-02-04 14:37

    LOL.......... I feel sorry for the policemen there.

  • muistrap - 2011-02-04 14:42

    oh my feathered red hat....don't they have better things to do than ban farting LOL

  • KjustK - 2011-02-04 14:47

    how do you comment on this?!?!?!?!

      Mr.Glum - 2011-02-04 17:28

      You can't, that's why we all just fart along for the laugh...

  • John - 2011-02-04 14:47

    Oh shit! Lemme fart quickly before I get arrested!

  • - 2011-02-04 14:48

    This is why africa is in such a mess. It's a lot easier to debate farting in public than it is to solve major problems. We don't feel like working so let's debate farting for the next six months to two years. Like this is going solve major problems in the country.

  • nic69ers - 2011-02-04 14:51

    Haha!! Only in Africa!! What if you shart..?? Is that still an offense!?

  • danjon1000 - 2011-02-04 14:54


  • AGED - 2011-02-04 14:59


  • Shadoz - 2011-02-04 15:00

    hey it will be a crime to fart in public but yet they more than likely urinate and deficate anywhere they want anyway. so what is the point.

  • Plot Rot - 2011-02-04 15:01

    Preeeeeeeeeeee!!! Ahhh!! that's better!!!!!!!!

  • Shistirrer - 2011-02-04 15:11

    Oh boy! What are they going to do with those "silent but violent" ones? Round up everybody in the vicinity until anyone owns up? Also problematic is the "wet one" a.k.a. shart: it's a fart, but not quite... Maybe a special bylaw for those, as not so much goes into the atmosphere, it carries a lesser fine. They will need special lawyers who specialize in Fart Legislation, to navigate through all the intricacies.

      romeo.nyebe - 2011-02-04 15:23

  • ColinG - 2011-02-04 15:17

    The next thing will be to invent the Fart-alizer.

      Mr.Glum - 2011-02-04 17:24

      Perhaps it would be best to stick to a particular diet and then patent one's fart. They would then need a warrant to use the Fart-alizer.

  • Tlaks - 2011-02-04 15:19

    Wonder what the punishment would be. Maybe Capital Punishment! Hey, Afrika!!! Oh, poor Malawi, What a waste of tax payers money

  • Mellicins - 2011-02-04 15:20


  • Mellicins - 2011-02-04 15:23


  • Mellicins - 2011-02-04 15:25


  • Gooofy - 2011-02-04 15:28

    LOL ... this is kinda funny ... if this were to happen in SA then ironically politicians will probably be banning themselves ... WANT HULLE PRAAT NET K@K

  • Felix - 2011-02-04 15:29


  • Mr.Glum - 2011-02-04 15:32

    Ag nee sies man! Don't they have better things to do?

  • Stuka - 2011-02-04 15:34

    maybe they should charge a fart emissions tax?

      Mr.Glum - 2011-02-04 15:52

      Don't give anybody tax ideas, especially in our country ;)

  • Nice Guy - 2011-02-04 15:35

    I can imagine that this could be quite a problem. I find Malawian farts quite aromatic and would probably be distracting in public meetings to say the least. I think it would be helpful to have a small spade ready at strategic points on busy roads and individuals needing to release some tension should be encourages to dig in at points slightly away from most nostrils. I can see implementation of this law would have practical difficulties when dealing with issues such as silent but deadlies. A dishonest person may not own up that the vile odour emanated from his rectal canal and would then require someone else to sniff various canals and confirm ownership

  • NickArmstron - 2011-02-04 15:39

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha - are you f#ckin kidding???? Run out of ideas how to actually run a country - oh wait - ok - let's 'look busy' - shuffle a few papers - and ban farting.............. Ahhh yes - African democracy at work...! LOL! :)

  • Mr.Glum - 2011-02-04 15:46

    I remember a program on TV once about measuring the amount of gas passed by an individual during the day. They all had bags attached to them and by the end of the day these bags were bulging. “Check my bag my china…” Perhaps the Malawians should all wears these bags and donate the gas to the government. This can be used to generate some form of energy like electricity, cooking gas, etc. I can just imagine all these people wearing flat bags in the morning and floating bags by the afternoon. Wanna join the queue?

  • pamela.nelson2 - 2011-02-04 16:21

    Ridiculous I agree

  • Anginsun - 2011-02-04 22:41

    A bit like South Africa wanting to impose a ban on teenagers kissing in public. I smell something rotten in the state of Malawi.

      Hloney - 2011-02-05 05:49

      we deem humans to be mentally unstable / defficient if they fail to reason within normal and natural thining line... It will now be really difficult to first proof what is natural. I think we have enough to deal with onpe when the only source of information is specially provided by gorvenment... Reseach proofs that global warmimg is a myth just like the issue of aids as a lab product for the BILDERBBURG group to go on on their quest to reduce human population to only 500 000 000. Fellow world citizens, we have enough energy to utilize on issues like this that useless war on, 'WHO FARTED'??

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